Antonoffv.Maimonides Medical Center

Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, Second DepartmentJun 22, 1998
674 N.Y.S.2d 756 (N.Y. App. Div. 1998)
674 N.Y.S.2d 756251 A.D.2d 522

June 22, 1998

Appeal from the Supreme Court, Kings County (I. Aronin, J.).

Ordered that the order is affirmed, with costs.

In 1995 the plaintiff entered into a contract with the defendant for a one-year residency program as a "House Staff Officer" in the defendant's Department of Dentistry. Shortly before the end of the program, the director of the dental program informed the plaintiff that one of the plaintiff's patients had made allegations that the plaintiff had sexually harassed her. The plaintiff alleges that the director did not afford him his contractual rights to respond to the charge, but instead coerced him into resigning by threatening that he would be personally and professionally "ruined" unless he immediately left the program. As a result, the plaintiff contends that he was constructively discharged.

It is well settled that in determining a motion to dismiss for failure to state a cause of action pursuant to CPLR 3211 (a) (7), the test is whether the plaintiff can succeed upon any reasonable view of the facts stated (see, Campaign for Fiscal Equity v. State of New York, 86 N.Y.2d 307; Jiggetts v. Grinker, 75 N.Y.2d 411, 414-415; 219 Broadway Corp. v. Alexander's, Inc., 46 N.Y.2d 506). Moreover, the plaintiff is entitled to the benefit of all favorable inferences which may be drawn from the liberally-construed pleading (see, CPLR 3026; Prudential Bache Sec. v. Citibank, 73 N.Y.2d 263).

In this case, given the nature and the source of the alleged threat made to the plaintiff, the complaint adequately sets forth a cause of action to recover damages for breach of contract (see, Matter of Cacchioli v. Hoberman, 31 N.Y.2d 287; Fischer v. KPMG Peat Marwick, 195 A.D.2d 222; cf., Matter of Hopkins v. Governale, 222 A.D.2d 435).

Thompson, J. P., Santucci, Friedmann and Florio, JJ., concur.